Courses - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2024)

If you will create your own schedule of courses, please carefully read the following information and make sure to choose from the right course lists.

You can choose from 1,100+ English-taught bachelor's and master's level courses.

When choosing courses, you should only choose courses listed under the Exchange programme in the study guide. Not all courses listed in degree programmes are available to be taken as a Semester in Amsterdam student. All courses listed in the Exchange Study Guide are taught in English, but you can always check the language via the details in the course description.

Please note the following:

  • Although Semester in Amsterdam students choose from the same course list as exchange students, Semester in Amsterdam students follow a different course registration procedure than exchange students.
  • Course lists for the new academic year are posted in April/May and the timetables are published a few months before the start of each semester.
  • Until the academic timetable is published, your choices are considered provisional and subject to change. For this reason, we suggest having backup course selections ready.

Check the Entry Requirements

Please pay special attention to any recommended or required background knowledge listed in the course descriptions. While some courses are open to be taken as elective courses by students with different kinds of academic backgrounds, other courses require you to have background knowledge in a specific field.We will check that you meet the requirements before we enroll you in courses.

Faculty of Behaviour and Movement Science
Psychology courses available to Semester in Amsterdam students are offered by the Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences at VU Amsterdam and the focus is on Biological Psychology; Clinical, Neuro- and Developmental Psychology; Experimental and Applied Psychology. Students must have completed the equivalent of at least 30 ECTS of psychology courses to be eligible to participate in courses offered by the faculty of Behavior and Movement Sciences.If you do not have a background in psychology, you are not eligible to take these courses.

Faculty of Business and Economics
Students who wish to take Business and Economics courses should pay special attention to the listed background requirements. For these courses, the recommended background knowledge is usually required.

Course Levels

Bachelor-level Courses
In general, you should choose courses which match your level. Bachelor-level (undergraduate) courses at VU Amsterdam range from level 100 to 300. 100 level courses are first-year/introductory-level courses, 200 are second-year, and 300 are third-year/advanced-level courses. If you wish to take a 200-level course, then you should at least be in your second year of bachelor's study. If you wish to take a 300-level course, then you should at least be in your third year of bachelor's study.

Master-level Courses
Bachelor’s students are not allowed to follow master’s courses unless these courses are also listed in the Exchange Study Guide under Bachelor’s courses.

Master’s courses range from level 400 to 600. In addition to course-specific entry requirements, students interested in following master-level courses must also meet the admission requirements for the graduate degree programme to which the course belongs. This includes submitting a copy of your bachelor's diploma and proof that you meet the English language requirements for master-level applicants, which can be found on our How to Apply-page.

Choose Courses From the Right Period

At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the academic year is divided into two semesters. Each semester is then divided into three periods. The first semester (Fall) consists of periods 1, 2, and 3 and takes place from the beginning of September to the end of January. The second semester (Spring) consists of periods 4, 5, and 6 and takes place from the beginning of February to the end of June.

Due to the semester/period structure, courses may be shorter and more intense than you are used to. Rather than taking a few courses that last the entire semester, you will take 4 - 5 courses that each last 4 - 8 weeks. This means you have quite a bit of flexibility in how you plan your schedule. You are free to skip the last period (P3/P6) and return home in December (Fall) or the end of May (Spring) if you prefer. This also applies to students following a minor programme.As an alternative to taking a course in periods 3 or 6, you can choose to take an extra course in another period.

Students generally take 2 - 3 courses in each of the first two periods, though this is not required. You could, for example, take one course during Period 1, three courses during Period 2, and one course during Period 3. We strongly recommend that you do not take more than 3 courses in any one period as this is usually too many, and most students are not able to take that many courses at once and still pass.

Please see thePractical Information section below for more information about the semester/period structure at VU Amsterdam and the ECTS credit system.

Choose a Maximum of 30 ECTS

Semester in Amsterdam students are required to take a minimum of 18 ECTS and a maximum of 30 ECTS worth of courses per semester. A regular workload for one semester is 30 ECTS (usually 5 courses worth 6 ECTS each). Most students take 24 - 30 ECTS. If you do not have to meet specific degree requirements or other requirements set by your home university or study abroad provider, we recommend taking 2 courses per period. This will give you a little extra time to study and explore during your semester abroad.

Courses - Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2024)


Is Vrije university hard to get into? ›

The applicant must have an average score of at least 6.5 in IELTS. Otherwise, they must have at least 92 in iBT, 232 in CBT, and 580 in PBT in TOEFL. Alternatively, they must have a score of 176 or more in the Cambridge Proficiency or Advanced Exams (CPE/CAE).

Is Vrije Amsterdam prestigious? ›

Rankings & ratings

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is one of the top universities in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is ranked #221 in QS World University Rankings 2025.

What are the levels of courses at VU Amsterdam? ›

Bachelor-level (undergraduate) courses at VU Amsterdam range from level 100 to 300. 100 level courses are first-year/introductory-level courses, 200 are second-year, and 300 are third-year/advanced-level courses.

Does Vrije university teach in English? ›

The university offers over 190 English-taught programmes at Bachelor's, Master's and PhD level to more than 24,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff of 84 nationalities create a dynamic international academic community.

What GPA do you need for VU Amsterdam? ›

The minimum cumulative GPA required by the graduate school is a 3.0 on a 4 scale for a four year bachelor's degree.

How much does Vrije university cost for international students? ›

Estimated costs for a fulltime student
Airport-city transfer (bus/train/taxi)€ 7 - € 60once
Accommodation warranty€ 1000once
Fire/third liability insurance€ 200yearly
Tuition fee (general)€ 1116 - € 4600yearly
Study materials€ 200once
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